Occupational Video – Automotive Service Technician

Occupational Video – Automotive Service Technician


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If you have good
mechanical aptitude,
like working with
motor vehicles,
and are able to keep up
with changing technology,
you might want
to shift gears
and test drive a career
as an Automotive
Service Technician.
Automotive service
technicians inspect,
maintain, repair
and service
various kinds
of vehicles,
including cars and
light trucks.
To get our bearings on this
high performance occupation,
we spoke with an automotive
service technician in Alberta.
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Hi, my name
is Chris
and I’m an automotive
service technician.
I’ve been into cars basically
since I was a little kid,
My grandpa and my dad
were both mechanics
so that was kind of
the reason why
I wanted to become one, too.

An automotive service
technician is a person
that will diagnose vehicles,
perform preventative maintenance
and advise customers on
repairs that are needed.
A typical day would
be bringing in cars,
assessing what needs to
be done on them
by doing inspections
and basic oil changes,
tire rotations,
things like that.
As technicians, we have a
lot of different duties
and responsibilities:
inspecting and repairing
components like steering,
brakes, engine
and transmission,
and also you need to
be able to assess
if a vehicle’s computer
system is working well.
Advising customers on what
maintenance may be coming up
or repairs that are needed
is also a technician’s
responsibility.
So the way we would
diagnose a vehicle
is first take it on a test drive
and verify a problem,
and then look up the
service information
using scan tools and
diagnostic equipment
if necessary.
And then use additional
equipment and tools
to pinpoint electrical faults
or mechanical faults
if there are any and
be able to advise
on their repair from there.
Employers are
usually looking for someone
right out of high school, good
electronics capabilities,
good with their hands,
a keen sense of
hearing is good,
you can hear things
going on with the vehicle,
having good eyesight
to find things better,
a good mechanical ability,
able to take things apart
and put them together.
Working independently
is a good skill to have,
but also working
with other people,
communicating with
them, is also a plus.
You’re never going to be
working solely by yourself
on anything.
Most technicians
will work Monday to Friday,
forty hours a week.
This can vary
between shops.
Some will work on weekends.
To work in Alberta as an
automotive service technician,
you must be
a registered apprentice,
a registered journeyperson,
or you must have a recognized
related trade certificate.
I came into the trade
straight out of high school,
and I went through
my training on the job
and also at a
technical institution.
To register as an
apprentice you must have
at least English 20-2,
Math 20-3,
and Science 10.
The other way you can
register as an apprentice
is passing an
entrance exam.
I would say that most of
our learning is done on the job,
so it is very
important to be attentive.
The biggest thing that I
learned from working on the job
is actually just how
to use tools in general,
because a lot of the
training that you get
is mostly theory.
The advancement
opportunities for technicians
are actually quite
extensive.
You could be moving up
to service advising,
to owning your own shop,
or being a foreman
of another shop.
Really endless
possibilities.
Outside of work I like to do
a lot of house renovations,
seeing as I like to work
with my hands.
Its really easy to balance
that sort of personal time
with work because
when you leave work
you leave your work…
at work.
Some of the challenges that
we face are:
the diagnostic procedure
on some cars
can be very difficult
at times,
seeing as there’s so many
different computer systems
and electronics that
need to be dealt with.
The thing I like most about this
occupation is getting a car in
that’s not running very well
and being able to diagnose it
and repair it and return
it to the customer
a hundred percent is
a very rewarding experience.
I would say to somebody that
wanted to get into this trade
that it can be
challenging at times,
but if you stay with it,
it can get easier
as you progress along.
The thing I see next for me is
opening up my own shop one day,
training other apprentices
and getting them into the trade
is definitely one
of the things
that I look
forward to.
To get into the
occupation of
automotive service
technician
you’ll need good
hand-eye coordination,
an aptitude
for mechanical work,
and the ability to
work independently.
And with the
proper training,
you’re on the
road to success.
Discover more
about this occupation,
such as educational requirements
and salary ranges,
in the occupational profile
on the ALIS website,
and learn about related
occupations,
like Heavy Equipment Technician
and Auto Body Technician.
Go to:
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